RIGA - Interior ministers of Austria, Poland and the Baltic states have sent an official letter to international organizations, including the UN, urging for support to solving humanitarian issues on the border with Belarus, LETA learned from the Latvian Interior Ministry.
The countries condemn the attempts of the Belarus authorities to instrumentalize migration and exploit people due to political motives. Deterioration of the weather conditions, the start of the winter season poses threats to human life. Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have provided urgent humanitarian and medical assistance where possible.
In order to prevent tragedies and humanitarian crisis in the territory of Belarus, the countries call on international organizations to contact Belarus authorities and organize humanitarian and medical assistance for the people who have been called in by Belarus to arrive in this country and pushed on the border.
It is also important that these international organizations helped migrants return to their countries of origin, provide the necessary assistance and actively engage in preventing illegal migration flow across the EU border.
The letter has been sent to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN International Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross and organization Doctors Without Borders.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to Ylva Johansson, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
"Latvia is ready to defend EU's external border if mass migration is aimed in the direction of Latvia. It is a matter of Latvia's national security and the duty of an EU member states. However, it is clear that this will not be possible without support of other EU member states and international support. It is absolutely unacceptable that Lukashenko's regime is using live people in this hybrid operation," said Latvian Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (For Development/For).
The regime of Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko has attempted to push thousands of illegal immigrants over the Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish borders. Most of these immigrants had been invited as tourists to Belarus from Iraq.
EU member states trace the roots of the migrant crisis to Belarus's contested presidential election in 2020 in which Lukashenko claimed a sixth successive term, triggering mass street protests that were violently quelled by security forces.